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The Blank Page of History Two Kinds of Chess

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Why the West Won't Win Against Islam

by Christopher Chantrill
September 10, 2006 at 12:31 pm

WE ALL KNOW that we will win the war against Islamic fascism. Or will we? Author David Selbourne sets out ten reasons why, as things stand, Islam will not be defeated. Selbourne is author of the book The Losing Battle with Islam.

  1. Disagreement in the non-Muslim world about what is really going on.
  2. The nature of Islam is misunderstood. It is not a religion. “It is a transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems.”
  3. “[T]he low level of Western leadership, in particular in the United States.
  4. “[T]he egotistical competitiveness... of “experts” and commentators on Islam, from “Islamophobes” to “academic apologists.”
  5. “[T]he confusion of ‘progressives’ about the Islamic advance,” viewing Muslims through the lens of colonialism and multiculturalism.
  6. “[T]he vicarious satisfaction felt by many non-Muslims at America’s reverses.”
  7. “[T]he moral poverty of the West’s, and especially America’s, own value system.” Obedience to Allah will beat freedom and liberty.
  8. The skill and effectiveness of Muslim media and propaganda.
  9. The dependency of the West on the Middle East’s oil resources.
  10. The notion that “technology-driven modernity and market-driven progress are innately superior to the ideals of ‘backward’ Islam.”

The clarity and the forcefulness of these ideas are helpful in thinking about what the West must do to counter the Muslim threat.

But the biggest thing to think about is the lesson of the Enlightenment.

The great Enlightenment thinkers in the eighteenth century were trying to find a path out of the brutal religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Their solution was to back off from the search for the good, the true, and the beautiful. They proposed instead a society in which these absolutes were removed from the public square into the private realm. In politics we would be content with the fairly good, the true enough, and the merely pretty.

The result, of course, was the staggering prosperity revolution of global capitalism. It was when the West abandoned the Islamic notion of a “transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems” that it began its breathtaking climb to world domination.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill